Sara Hickman

Two Kinds of Laughter

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Hickman creates an inviting tension in her songs, pitting unusual lyric lines against catchy melodies. That's why choosing Adrian Belew as her producer and co-conspirator on this disc is a stroke of genius. His off-kilter pop sensibility compliments Hickman perfectly. The terrific touches, such as the toy soldier fanfare that opens "I Wear the Crown," add to the easy joy of the music rather than overpowering it. The fact that Hickman is a top-shelf singer and songwriter helps, too.

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